Local theatre roundup

November 24, 2012
The Chicago Crusader
Elaine Hegwood Bowen

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Chicago Bulls Scottie Pippen appears in Goodman’s A Christmas Carol

Goodman Theatre makes a slam dunk! Chicago Bulls superstar Scottie Pippen and 7-year-old La’Ren Kimble, a young beneficiary of Make-A-Wish Illinois, will together appear in “walk-on roles” in A Christmas Carol for one night only on Friday, December 14, at 8 p.m. This event marks the sixth year that the Goodman and Make-A-Wish Illinois have joined forces to brighten the life of a child battling a life-threatening medical condition. Pippen and Kimble don costumes tailored especially for them and make their “Goodman Theatre debut” in select scenes of the 35th-anniversary production of Chicago’s favorite holiday tradition directed by Steve Scott.

Tickets ($69 - $84; subject to change) to Scottie Pippen/Make-A-Wish Night are available by calling the Box Office 312-443-3800 or visiting GoodmanTheatre.org.

“I’m excited to step on a different stage of sorts and look forward to being part of what has been a Chicago holiday tradition for so many years,” said Pippen, Special Advisor to the President and C.O.O. of the Chicago Bulls. “But what’s most important for me is being able to work alongside my co-star, La’Ren, and Make-A-Wish Illinois. I hear La’Ren is an aspiring actress, and I’ll do my best to make her and the cast of A Christmas Carol proud.”

Seven-year-old La’Ren Kimble (Rockford), diagnosed with a Wilm’s Tumor in 2007, loves being in the limelight and dreams about acting—whether on stage or film someday. “For a wish child, the opportunity to appear onstage in A Christmas Carol is a wonderful moment that allows them to experience the joy of the holiday season with the entire community,” said Stephanie Springs, Chief Executive Officer of Make-A-Wish Illinois. “Together with the Goodman and Chicago Bulls, we are creating an amazing experience that will help brighten her spirits.”

Curb Your Enthusiasm star Jeff Garlin returns to Steppenwolf Steppenwolf Theatre Company is pleased to welcome back Second City alum and star of HBO’s hit comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm Jeff Garlin in Closer Than I Appear, December 4 – 16, 2012. Jeff returns to Steppenwolf following his popular, sold-out run of No Sugar Tonight in 2011. Join him for a hilarious and ever-changing night of stand-up comedy in Steppenwolf’s intimate Upstairs Theatre (1650 N. Halsted St.). Jeff will be “up there doing his thing” for at least one hour 15 minutes. Tickets are $25 ($15 for students with valid ID) through Audience Services (1650 N. Halsted St.), 312-335-1650 and steppenwolf.org.

Raised in Chicago and then South Florida, Jeff studied filmmaking and began performing stand-up comedy while at the University of Miami. He has toured the country as a stand-up comedian and is an alumnus of Chicago’s Second City Theatre. A limited number of $15 student tickets are available online using promo code “GARLIN15.” Limit 2 tickets per student; must present a valid student ID for each ticket.

The Joffrey Ballet presents the Silver Anniversary of The Nutcracker The Joffrey Ballet celebrates the 25thAnniversary of Robert Joffrey’s The Nutcracker in a 22-performance engagement at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University, 50 E. Congress Parkway, December 7 – 27, 2012.

The curtains rose on The Joffrey Ballet’s The Nutcracker on December 10, 1987, at the Hancher Auditorium at the University of Iowa, with the production then embarking on a national tour, and the American Nutcracker was born. When Robert Joffrey choreographed The Nutcracker, he replaced the traditional European setting with a 19th century American home, populating it with toys from his own childhood underneath the Christmas tree of the Stahlbaum family. This original production combines classical grace with explosive action, maintaining the purity of Robert Joffrey’s original choreography while sparkling with elegant costumes, an extravagant set by Oliver Smith and a giant Mother Ginger puppet by Kermit Love.

Following a lively party on Christmas Eve, familiar characters Clara and the mysterious Dr. Drosselmeyer embark on a magical adventure, encountering a battle between toy soldiers and legions of mice (where Clara unexpectedly saves the day), before being whisked away with the Nutcracker Prince to an enchanted forest by the elegant Queen and King of Snow, then being delighted by an exotic array of dancing confections from the beautiful Sugar Plum Fairy. Joffrey Ballet Co-Founder Gerald Arpino also contributed to Robert Joffrey’s version, having choreographed the Land of the Snow scene, which closes Act I, and the Waltz of the Flowers in Act II.

Pricing and Tickets

Single tickets, priced between $31 and $132, are available for purchase at The Joffrey Ballet’s official box office located in the lobby of Joffrey Tower, 10 E. Randolph St., as well as the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University box office, all Ticketmaster ticket centers or by telephone at (800) 982-2787.